Decatur School Board Considers Opening Classrooms to Emory Classes

Approval of five-year strategic plan also on agenda for Tuesday meeting.

Decatur residents would be able to take classes at the new Decatur Career Academy under a proposed agreement with Emory University.

The Decatur School Board will meet Tuesday and among the items on the agenda is a proposal to allow Emory University  to teach community education classes at the new facility.

Also on the agenda is approval of the school system’s strategic 2011-2016 plan which proposes, among other things, narrowing the academic achievement gap between white and black students.

The was paid for by a state grant that requires the city to partner with institutions of higher learned to provide learning opportunities to “the greater community, including parents and community members who do not have children in the school system,” according to the board agenda for Tuesday’s meeting.

Decatur already has an agreement with DeKalb Technical College, now known as Georgia Piedmont Technical College.

Emory would pay $40 per hour to use classrooms in the academy and provide a 10 percent discount to DHS students, faculty or staff enrolling.

Also at Tuesday's meeting, the board will consider approving the 2011-2016 strategic plan discussed in detail last week by Superintendent Phyllis Edwards.

Among the goals in the plan are to:

  • Improve academic achievement, including studying student learning during week-long student breaks and student tutoring.
  • Close the black/white achievement gap, including increasing extracurricular participation by African-American students and improving black students’ acceptance to four-year colleges from 70 to 75 percent.
  • Improve fiscal responsibility including possibly outsourcing some job functions.
  • Strengthen the relationship with the community, including training parents to use the school system’s informational parent portal which tracks a student’s grades, attendance and what they bought for lunch.

The board will also vote on a strong anti-nepotism policy and set performance goals for Edwards, for which she said she will not seek additional compensation.

The meeting starts at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday in the school system central office.


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